Third-country citizens can obtain a residency permit in Greece – popularly known as a ‘Golden Visa’ by purchasing real–estate property in Greece for a value that exceeds 250,000 Euros. The permit can give the right to a non–EU citizen to reside legally in Greece, while enjoying certain EU citizens’ rights. Family members of the owners are also beneficiaries of the same residency permit.
In order for third–country citizens to apply for the permit they should have entered Greece legally holding any type of visa or be legal residents in the country even if the residency permit they have obtained does not allow for a change of residency scope.
Applying for the so – called “golden visa” can be a challenging procedure and requesting legal assistance from an experienced lawyer is vital for a successful application.
Economically Independent Visas
Another type of visa that has received less of attention but can lead to the acquisition of residency permit in Greece is the “financially or economically independent visa”. It gives the right to third–country citizens who are economically independent to reside legally in Greece, under the condition that they have “sufficient resources” to cover their living expenses without working or investing in Greece. In other words, this kind of visa is addressed to non – EU citizens that have a lawful steady income earned outside Greece (e.g. pension in their home country) and hold the adequate docs to prove it.
Even though the relevant legislation provides for the specific prerequisites, both the competent consular/embassies (visa application) and the local competent authorities (issuing of permit) tend to interpret the “sufficient resources” condition in diverse ways.
The law provides that the applicant should not have any work or independent economic or investment activity in Greece, but in practice we have noted visa applications can be rejected when the applicants solely provide proof of income linked to a specific job activity in their country as well.
The law requires that the applicant shall have resources of 2.000 euros per month (increased for each family member that wishes to apply as well), and as proof bank statements or pension certificates can be accepted or other kind of proof.
This last wording leaves lots of space for interpretation by the competent authorities as we have observed in practice and referring to an experienced lawyer that will assess your individual case and advise you accordingly before applying can be proven significantly important.